A GILT COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF SHADAKSHARI LOKESHVARA KHASA MALLA, CIRCA 1300-1350

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Lot 848
A GILT COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF SHADAKSHARI LOKESHVARA
KHASA MALLA, CIRCA 1300-1350

Sold for US$ 956,075 inc. premium
A GILT COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF SHADAKSHARI LOKESHVARA
KHASA MALLA, CIRCA 1300-1350
With a Tibetan inscription at the front of the lotus base, Ya tso (sic: tse) mnga' bdag gyis bdan (sic: gdan) sa lha tong du phul ba//; translated: "The Ya tse sovereign has offered this to the monastery of Lha tong."
Himalayan Art Resources item no.16801
7 1/4 in. (18.5 cm) high

Footnotes

  • 卡薩馬拉 約1300-1350年 銅鎏金四臂觀音像

    Shadakshari Lokeshvara gazes benevolently from his heavy-lidded eyes under elegant arched brows. He is seated above a succulently-petaled lotus—radiant and golden. A minute depiction of his spiritual progenitor, the Buddha Amitabha, is nestled in his lapis-tinted hair. His finely cast mouth forms a gentle, upturned smile, while he raises his foremost hands in anjali mudra to bless the viewer. Shadakshari Lokeshvara personifies the preeminent incantation for the Great Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, om ma ṇi pad me hum ("hail to the jewel in the lotus"), repeated daily by Tibetan Buddhists. This exquisite sculptural representation bears an inscription and the stylistic registers of a newly attributed kingdom of the Khasa Mallas, spanning 13th-to-14th-century western Tibet and western Nepal, which ranks it among an important sub-group definitely produced for royal patronage.

    With the term "Ya tse", the bronze's inscription refers to the Khasa Malla kingdom by its Tibetan name, discussed in detail by Amy Heller (Heller, 2013). The inscription also explains that the bronze was created as a pious gift from a Khasa Malla king to an as-yet-identified monastery. Heller suggests two possible rulers who may have commissioned this statue, Punya Malla (fl.1330-1340), and his son, Pritivi Malla, (fl.1340-1355), which might narrow the time of production to the second quarter of the 14th century.

    The bronze exhibits many of the defining characteristics now used to identify Khasa Malla bronzes since the first was recognized by Ian Alsop in 1994 (see Alsop, "The Metal Sculpture of the Khasa Malla Kingdom" in Singer & Denwood (eds.), Tibetan Art: Towards a Definition of Style, London, 1997, pp.68-79). For example, these are a lotus base with plump, multilobed petals, a prominent beaded upper rim, and a plain back painted with red lacquer. Also, the sash resting before his ankles is cast as part of the base, rather than the figure, which is more common in neighboring sculptural traditions. His knuckles are well-defined in what is considered the most convincing stylistic indicator of the Khasa Malla style, and his figure and countenance are characteristically well-nourished more so than neighboring styles.

    In fact, his face and figural type so clearly match the treatment of another inscribed Khasa Malla bronze in the National Museum of Art, Washington, D.C.—believed to represent the wife of Pritivi Malla, Queen Dipamala (F1986.23)—that it further suggests the likelihood this bronze is part of a royal subgroup produced under, or contiguous to, Pritivi Malla's reign. Two other gilt bronzes that likely belong to this group are a Bhaisajyaguru sold at Sotheby's, Paris, 23 June 2016, lot 137 and a Manjushri sold at Koller, Zurich, 13 June 2017, lot 111—all four showing considerable artistic flair as some of the finest Khasa Malla sculptures of their scale yet identified. However, the present lot is the only Khasa Malla sculpture so far known to bear an inscription that explicitly states it was commissioned by (and not for) a Khasa Malla king.

    Published
    Amy Heller, "Sculpture of Avalokitesvara Donated by the Ruler of Ya Tse (Ya Rtse Mnga' Bdag)", in Ehrhard & Maurer (eds.), Nepalica-Tibetica: Festgabe for Christoph Cuppers, Band 1, IITBS, 2013, pp.243-7, fig.1 & 2.
    Amy Heller, "Buddhist Art in the Himalayas and Tibet", in v. d. Schulenburg (eds.), Buddha 108 Encounters, Frankfurt, 2015, p.84, fig.9.

    Provenance
    Chino Roncoroni
    Private Swiss Collection, acquired from the Paris Art Market, 2009
Contacts
A GILT COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF SHADAKSHARI LOKESHVARA KHASA MALLA, CIRCA 1300-1350
A GILT COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF SHADAKSHARI LOKESHVARA KHASA MALLA, CIRCA 1300-1350
A GILT COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF SHADAKSHARI LOKESHVARA KHASA MALLA, CIRCA 1300-1350
A GILT COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF SHADAKSHARI LOKESHVARA KHASA MALLA, CIRCA 1300-1350
A GILT COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF SHADAKSHARI LOKESHVARA KHASA MALLA, CIRCA 1300-1350
A GILT COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF SHADAKSHARI LOKESHVARA KHASA MALLA, CIRCA 1300-1350
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